Meet our Board of Directors

Ginny O'Brien


When it comes to dedication to community, few rise to Ginny’s level of involvement. She was a member of the East Greenbush Town Board, minority leader of the Rensselaer County Legislature, is a member of St. Michael’s Church Social Justice Committee and Parish Council, and is a Trustee of Catholic Charities. These opportunities have expanded Ginny’s network and made her a successful realtor with Coldwell Banker.

Patricia Cannistraci

Vice President

Physical health and well-being are low on the priority list for people experiencing homelessness. Patti’s desire to serve the whole person, including health and well-being, is central to who she is and what she brings as a board member. Patti provides visionary and innovative leadership to her position as Dean for Samaritan Hospital’s School of Nursing and she eagerly shares those leadership qualities with the Center.

Carrie Nyc-Chevrier


 As the Director of Business and Finance for Niskayuna Central School District, Carrie has over five years of experience developing fiscally responsible budgets, without reducing the integrity of programs. Carrie feels strongly that issues of food insecurity and housing instability must be addressed so that children can focus in school and make the most of education opportunities.   

Nicole Kirk


Nicole is a special education teacher with the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District with priceless experience working with youth. “As a former St. Paul’s Center volunteer, I have seen the positive impact the Center has on women and children. As Secretary, I bring that experience and the perspective of an educator with special education, family involvement and cultural competence experience to the Board.” 

Patricia Birch


Trish is a faculty member of Hudson Valley Community College and an experienced social worker. She is fully aware of how best practice models impact an agency’s effectiveness – in particular when it comes to homelessness, generational poverty, and addressing the effect the trauma of homelessness has on children. Trish’s knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm shine brightly.

Janet Hiser


With  years of nonprofit administration, development, communication, and marketing experience under her belt, Janet’s contribution to St. Paul’s Center and the local homeless families we serve is felt in a myriad of ways. “I find the Center’s mission to be truly compelling and serving an important need in our community. I love contributing my experience and expertise to advance that mission.”

Robert Romaker


Robert R. Romaker is a Managing Attorney at the Albany office of  Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY).   He has been a legal aid attorney for his entire career, focusing on representing tenants at risk of homelessness for over 30 years.  Mr. Romaker started his career as an attorney for Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS), and later became a managing attorney, until moving to New York 13 years ago.  He lives in Albany with his wife, Jane Ann, his stepson, Matthew, and their dogs, Zeke and Sadie.

Tenika Wilcox


Tenika is a teacher, founder of United Sisters of New York, a manager of Her Temple Monologues, and a Character Education Facilitator. She has been recognized as an honoree of the YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program for providing young adults with life skill training. Tenika is dedicated to supporting personal growth among women and is ready to put her knowledge and compassion to work.

Marilyn Dyer


Marilyn played an integral role in the development St. Paul’s Center and was a founding board member. Marilyn is a very active volunteer leader and has organized various Center fundraising events. She works as the Executive Assistant to a New York State Senator and is well versed in the legislative process. She brings to the Center a deep passion for service to vulnerable families in the Capital Region.

Olivia Karis


Olivia has spent her legal career in the court system as a Principal Court Attorney, and has dedicated much of her personal time to supporting public libraries. She hopes to combine her interests in advocacy, literacy, and community building by helping the homeless mothers and children served by St. Paul's Center. Olivia lives in Poestenkill with her husband and two young children. 

Jennifer Rexius


Centralized Sales Manager with HEI Hotels and Resorts, Jennifer is a Leadership Tech Valley graduate, bringing eight years of Board experience and organizational and planning skills. “Helping the homeless and those in need has been on my heart a great deal and led me to seek out ways to get involved. I have been blessed in countless ways and feel that my talents are being called to serve my community alongside the people of St. Paul’s Center.”

Alicia Verdile


As an executive liability insurance underwriter, Alicia Verdile uses her analytical skills to add value to the St. Paul’s Center Board of Directors as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee. Not only is Alicia committed to providing transitional housing and support services for local families, she also advocates to solve for the root causes of homelessness. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Syracuse University in 2014.

Interested in joining our Board?

Please fill out our Board Member Application. Our staff will reach out following your application’s review.

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